Summer Story: The Last Day of School

Summer End of School-1

 

The Last Day of School

There’s always that time when everyone is crazy, wild , and out of control. That time is the end of the school year. This is also the time people are most prone to end-of-school-itis. Some symptoms are dress-code breaking, running in the hallways( we all do it, but the teachers don’t try to stop us on the last day of school), yelling in the classrooms, and breaking rules.

I do have to admit I do break some rules. As in some I mean most. I loved every minute of it.

My Day on The Last Day of School

 

My day was like anybody else’s on the last day of school. I broke the rules, screamed in the classrooms, acted wild, and had fun, but while playing around something popped in my head.

That my friend was the song “How Far We’ve Come” by Matchbox 20. It made me think I really have come far.

So you think by now that this writing is just to tell people about the end of the school year, but I want to say I am ready for summer and what life has to throw at me.

Summer in Thailand with Kids-1

 

I have come too far to turn around, Summer I am ready!

Stay tuned on my summer story as I will be reporting from Thailand.

Volunteer with Kids: Tools 4 School Event

Volunteer With Kids - Tools 4 School PencilTwo weekends ago, we had an awesome opportunity to help volunteering with local organization – Act Together Ministries for the Back-To-School event – Tools 4 School Event at Christ the Shepherd Lutheran Church Alpharetta.

An Organization with Family Oriented Goals

Act Together Ministries is a christian based organization that aims to help change the plight of children living in distress in North Atlanta area. They focus their work on supporting children in distress by providing for children’s basic needs, giving children the opportunity to experience the joy of childhood and offering programs to strengthen family bond.

What I also like about Act Together Ministries is that they also inspire young generation to serve by providing service projects that are child friendly and making giving and serving fun for young children as well.

Tools 4 School Project: A Group Effort

Volunteer With Kids - Tools 4 School Bag

The Tools 4 School is one of many service projects that Act Together Ministries have done in partnership with local organizations. This event was sponsored by Christ the Shepherd Lutheran Church in Alpharetta.

I signed us up as a family. Mr. Rojo and the kids signed up to help food service but he actually ended up as the volunteer to help gathering school supplies and the kids were there to play with other kids. I signed up to help blog about the event.

Tools 4 School provided children in need including foster children, military children, and children living in poverty with school supplies, hair cut, medical and dental check up.

Volunteer with Kids: Tools 4 School Backpack

As the families arrived and registered, volunteers helped them pick out the school backpack and started working on their school supplies check list.

Volunteer with Kids: Tools 4 School Checklist

The volunteers worked with kid one-on-one to help them gather their school supplies from the list.

Volunteer with Kids: Tools 4 School Dental checkup

Once they were done, the medical team of doctors, nurses and dentists were there to provide them with necessary medical and dental check up for school.

Volunteer with Kids: Tools 4 School GroceriesWith the generosity of donors and volunteers, there were also a table setup with bags of groceries to help family start off their back-to-school with a healthy meal.

Volunteer with Kids: Tools 4 School Craft

Once the families gathered their school supplies and finished with their medical & dental check ups, the children could enjoy free art & crafts or played game with volunteers.

I was truly impressed by the well-run and organized event by both Act Together Ministries and Christ the Shephard Church. After talking to a few volunteers who were also the church members, I found out that this was the first year that they have done this event. But I sure hope it will not be the last.

Volunteer with Kids: Tools 4 School Kid

In the end around 125-150 children from single parent homes, foster homes and local shelters received new school supplies.

It was a really great experience and one that I hope we will continue to do as a family. The smile on the kids are priceless and show us that we are the ones who are on the receiving end in this.

If you are looking for way to help, you can sign up to volunteer with the events from Act Together Ministries or donate to help fund many more projects in the future.

GeoCaching with Kids: Our First Experience in Geocaching

Last weekend, we were invited by Georgia State Park to attend their kick off event of Geo-Challenge.

Geo-Challenge is a new program by Georgia State Park incorporating Geocaching to 42 Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites.

You can pick up Georgia State Park Geo-Challenge passport or download it online. Then go to geocaching.com to get GPS coordinates for the caches location in the parks. Head out to the parks and start the hunt.

Once you find the cache hidden in the park, there will be a stamp (unique to each location) for your passport. Complete specific numbers of caches to get a custom geo-coin. Bring your stamped Passport into the park’s Visitor Center and receive a voucher for your coin.

If you are new to Geocaching like myself, there are many sites you can find out more information about. One of my travel blogger buddy, Tripping With Kids, has many posts with great information about geocaching.

Now, on to our first experience with geocaching with kids

I’m glad that our first geocache attempt was with the Geo-Challenge. We went to the Fort Yargo State Park in Winder and checked in. Typically, geocacher will need a few equipments to start with namely GPS handheld unit (very important) and a few other hiking items.

We were able to borrow the GPS unit from the GA State Park along with a helpful experience geocacher – Ms. Linda. She taught us what caches might look like, how to read the GPS and when to follow the compass or not to follow the compass since sometimes the compass tends to take you on the most direct route. We have to use some common sense as well to not get ourselves in trouble.

Since this is the kick off event, there were 5 additional caches hidden in the park specifically for this event. We arrived a bit later than the starting time so we planned to just attempt to find one event-specific cache.

Our first cache took us on a walk along the nature trail to the wood. It was a beautiful day and a perfect weather for geocaching. We were lucky as we arrived at the location to find another family was there looking for the cache as well. The kids couldn’t be more excited to find their first cache.

As we walked back, we ran into another group putting another cache away. Well, it could be considered as cheating since we didn’t even have the coordinate of this cache. But I considered it as an incentive for a first timer.

With 2 successfully caches, we were ready for the real cache in the park. We loaded our GPS with the coordinate and headed back out on our own for the hunt of Geo Challenge cache. I’m happy to report that it was a success. We found our cache and stamped our passport. One down, 41 more to go!

This is definitely a great way to get kids engage and involve in a destination. Thank you for introducing geocaching to our family. We are hooked!

Do you have an experience with geocaching? Would you like to share with us?

Check out other traveler Photo Friday at Delicious Baby.

Atlanta Things To Do

Volunteer with Kids: Save The Horses Organization

Over the weekend, I joined my mom group to do the volunteer work with our elementary school children at Horse Rescue, Relief and Retirement Fund, a local non-profit organization that work to the rescue and rehabilitation of horse and equine suffering from abuse and to the successful retirement of working horses and equine.

We were greeted by Ms. Deb who is a field trip coordinator who is a volunteer staff there. She gave us a quick orientation on what to expect and then we were off to tour the property.

We learned many new things about horses like what term do we use to call horses with multi-color (paint) and what we call their mark on their forehead (star). We met up with the regular residents there who were more than happy to greet us.

There are different area within the property for different types of horse. Mr. Z was so excited to meet horses that are smaller in size. It was wild to be able to walk up to them and touch these gentle souls. Remember, NEVER walk behind the horse!

A larger area is for bigger horses who need more space to exercise. We also learned a lot about how each horse came to the rescue.

After the tour, we then got to work. Since our kids were pretty young comparing to their typical volunteers. Ms. Deb gave us an easy task to help grooming two of their ponies. The kids did a great job!

Afterward, we were rewarded by a surprise treat. Mr. Z tried so hard to make him run. :) But he was a really good horse and didn’t even move a bit with many kids on his back.

It was a great experience and one that we would love to repeat again in the future.

If you would love to volunteer or plan a field trip, you can check out their website and contact them.

Atlanta Things To Do

Winter Olympic in Atlanta?

Snow in Atlanta - GA Bulldog

It’s not often for us who live in Atlanta to experience snow. But with the recent winter storm that swept through most the country, we got a chance to really enjoy snow in our own backyard.

Snow in Atlanta - Sled

It was a short experience indeed. As soon as the snow fell down and accumulated enough, we headed out to our backyard. Based on my past experience I knew we have to seize the moment. Otherwise, you won’t have any snow left to play with the next day.

Snow in Atlanta - Sled down

Lucky for us, the next day was cold enough for us to enjoy a second round of Winter Olympic – Snow Sled in our backyard. I didn’t think Miss J will be a dare devil type kid. But she proved me wrong. She opted to slide down head first and even attempted to slide down with 2 lids. Oh! By the way, we didn’t have a sled so we just use the plastic container lid. Work like a charm!

Snow in Atlanta - Snowman

And yes, we (or actually Mr. Rojo) were able to build a good size snowman. He was big enough to tower over Mr. Z and guard our backyard for a few days afterward.

Snow in Atlanta

The best part about snow in Atlanta is there is no clean up necessary. The heat took care of the snow a few days after. No snow shoveling to break your back.